From the origins of the telephone, various systems tried to organize phone numbers by geographical connections. Although the first American telephones operated on a patchwork of local protocols and procedures, the Bell system eventually unified the distribution of telephone numbers across the country, creating the area code system we know today.
Idaho is one of the last states to still be covered by a single code. Since the early postwar area, all Idaho residents have known that they share 208, the area code allocated for the most rural farms and the biggest urban centers in the state. Of course, population growth has strained that code to near its breaking point; as a result, a second area code waits in the wings for the growing population to begin implementing it. By late 2017, it is expected that Idaho will gain the 986 area code to alleviate the stress on the existing system. As this infographic shows, the new area code for Idaho will help its diverse communities continue to organize and thrive well into the future.